Matched (Book #1) by Ally Condie
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Received from publisher for honest review
Summary: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
My Review: Back when I was establishing my English degree, I was introduced to George Orwell, the author of 1984. This phenomenal novel is my favorite piece of classic literature. If you haven't been exposed to this masterpiece, I suggest you read it. The whole "big brother is watching you" expression will start making sense. Since then, I've been waiting for a book to have a similar theme and thankfully Matched came along. Ally's writing conveyed a tranquil tone that smoothly carried throughout the text. The fruitfulness behind the controlled society had a distinct flare I've never seen before. Imagine living in a world where officials decide every aspect of your life. I would go crazy! Especially, the whole element of being linked to your most probable love match. This became evident once the protagonist, Cassia, went through the steps of matching. All in all, her bravery and strength made this forbidden tale of love into an underlying fight for the truth.
When she was matched with her best friend, Xandar, all was seemingly well. However, a micro card glitch showed a quick glimpse of another's face. Ky, Cassia's long time acquaintance, was one of my favorite characters. His secretive and complex behavior was challenging. I enjoyed peeling back his layers with her. On the other hand, Xandar was a stand up guy whose loyalty proved advantageous. I empathized with the overwhelming situation he was thrown into. Now, the uniformed environment provided a world of perfection, with little room for freedom. The precise developments eliminated diseases and even managed the time of death. The ultimate struggle with Ky and Cassia was to either chip away at the discovered, mirrored crack or succumb to their pronounced fate. I am greatly anticipating the next installment to see how far they are willing to go for love. Ally has created a promising start to a series that will sustain a reader's love for dystopian fiction.
Ally Condie received a degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University and spent a number of years teaching high school English in Utah and in upstate New York. She lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.
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